Visit Costa Rica and know you are ‘giving back' to this wonderful country by staying in selected properties awarded the Certificate of Sustainable Tourism (CST). This itinerary will journey through different ecosystems; visit the lush, green Central Valley, the spectacular and imposing Arenal Volcano, the misty higher altitude of Monteverde Cloud Forest, the tropical dense rainforest of Manuel Antonio National Park and the forest fringed white sand beaches of Osa Peninsula on the Pacific Coast.
Created by the Costa Rican Tourist Board and recognised by the World Tourism Organisation, the CST is the seal of approval in continuing development to satisfy the current needs of society today whilst being mindful of protecting the country for future generations promoting positive impact on environment, culture and society. One to five green leaves are nominated to each property or service participating in the program. Our partners in Costa Rica are one of the first Tour Operators to be awarded CST and achieved the maximum five leaves of recognition.
Day 1 Arrive at San José International Airport, where you will be met by one of our representatives and taken by private transfer to one of our favourite properties in Central Valley for a 2 night stay. The Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn is a charming, sustainable boutique hotel and global leader in responsible tourism.
Day 2 Free day to enjoy the pure nature of Central Valley. You may wish to consider such excursions as hiking to Barba Volcano, Poas Volcano and Braulio Carillo National Park or take an in depth tour of the finca’s sustainable organic coffee plantation. The area is also popular for bird watching, horse riding or, for the more adventurous, white water rafting on the Sarapiqui River.
Day 3 After breakfast, there will be a private transfer by road to Arenal; the journey time is approx. 3 hours. Arenal is famous for the currently ‘resting’ and picture perfect Arenal Volcano, majestic mountain scenery, crystal clear lakes and rivers, and natural, volcanic hot springs. Enjoy a 2 night stay at Arenal Springs Resort & Spa who take pride in the preservation of their privileged location in view of the volcano. Successful practices in place here include energy/water saving and vibrant gardens which have introduced many birds, insects and mammals who previously did not frequent the area.
Day 4 Enjoy a group guided half day morning trek to the perfect conical shape Arenal Volcano for spectacular views! Explore the lower slopes of the volcano and visit the area destroyed in the first eruption in 1968. The volcano has been ‘resting’ since 2010 so no current eruptions, though incredible views and an invigorating trek. Compliment your morning by spending the afternoon relaxing in one of the many natural, volcanic hot springs.
Day 5 After breakfast, take the journey to Monteverde Cloud Forest. This journey takes the majority of the day and some consider one of the highlights of their trip. Travel in a small group by road, boat (across Lake Arenal) and on horse back (approx 2 hour ride) A wonderful journey through some beautiful scenery. Spend the next couple of nights in the magical cloud forest area.
Day 6 Enjoy breakfast with the birds of the Cloud Forest and afterwards take a half day group guided hike in the Monteverde Reserve accompanied by a local naturalist guide. Learn about the lush ecosystem of the forest and the diverse flora and fauna. This precious area of natural beauty, a reserve created in 1972, is protected by law and contains a vast array of plants, insects, birds and animals. For keen birders, we highly recommend the Hummingbird Gallery, where masses of hummingbirds can be seen darting (and flying backwards) around a globe.
Day 7 From the Cloud Forest to the Pacific Coast, take the private transfer by road to Manuel Antonio National Park. Spend 2 nights at Arenas del Mar, located close to the National Park. A luxurious and completely carbon neutral hotel, located by the beach and surrounded by 11 acres of tropical rainforest, this is an ideal spot to relax and explore this small though diverse park. Commitment to sustainability is so strong here, the hotel offer an ‘easy being green’ tour for guests.
Day 8 Morning half day group guided visit to Manuel Antonio National Park with a local naturalist guide who will bring appreciation to this beautiful area and help you spot sloths, birds, butterflies and reptiles and learn more about orchids and tropical trees. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure and if you wish to explore the region further, it is recommended to visit Espadilla Sur, Manuel Antonio and Puerto Escondido; three beaches with tropical dry forest backdrop.
Day 9 After breakfast, transfer by road to Casa Corcovado reception centre for the transfer by boat to reach the Osa Peninsula. Corcovado National Park on Osa Peninsula is the last remaining large and sustainable lowland rainforest in Central America; this remote land comprises of tropical rainforest, swamps and stretches of beach to explore. Spend 3 nights at Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge, designed and constructed in harmony with the landscape and environment, and abiding by green and sustainable principles in the day to day running of the lodge. The lodge is a finalist for 2013 Ancient Forests Foundation acknowledging the property as a leader in conservation tourism.
Day 10 Time at leisure. During your stay you could take some of the best rainforest trekking in Costa Rica in Corcovado National Park, seek out sea life snorkelling or Scuba diving the pristine reefs at Cano Island, weave through the mangroves on a boat tour, wake up early to catch the fullest bird activity of the day, see the scenery of the park on horse back or by kayaking.
Day 12 After breakfast, transfer by road to return to Palmar Sur airport for a forty minute scenic flight via Quepos to San Jose. Spend 1 night at Grano de Oro, a luxury boutique hotel and member of ‘Small Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica and Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality’. The owners are founders of a social project and their dedication to sustainable practices includes aiming to offset their entire footprint by 2016.
Day 13 After breakfast, say farewell to Costa Rica with photographs and wonderful memories and perhaps some further tips to make your World ‘greener’. A private transfer will take you by road to San Jose airport for your overnight flight to UK via Madrid or USA. .
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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